2017 was the year of slaying goals. I didn’t actively plan it this way, but that’s what ended up happening. The last three months of the year were jam packed with #adulting. If you haven’t gathered, my last post was about me getting a new job + promotion. It was definitely the hardest decision I made, considering how much I loved my job and the people I worked with. I know I ultimately made the right decision for myself and my career, and three months into the new gig I can confirm that!
After crossing that gem off my list, I had another big goal to slay: moving out. This is something I had been wanting since I was a teenager. I didn’t go away for college, so I had been living at home all of my life. Was I ready to go at it alone? Could I even do it?
Now that I made enough to take the plunge, I decided to actually do it. I was going to move for the first time ever. I spent quite a bit of time preparing for this move, though things moved crazy fast; faster than my job search. Here’s some of the things I learned:
Save, save, save!!!
I’ve been putting money in my savings account since I opened it a few years ago. At first, I would randomly put in some money, with the goal to save a certain amount. With that money goal, once I hit it, I deemed myself ready to move. When I started working, I started putting money in there more regularly by way of automatic transfers. I realized that leaving my savings up to my own devices, I’d never reach that goal. So, I set up an auto balance transfer to happen every paycheck. Out of sight, and out of mind. Doing this helped me get to that initial goal a lot quicker than I thought. Granted, life happened a few times, which did set me back but I knew it was a matter of time before I built things back up.
Having all this money saved was especially helpful when I had to put the first month’s rent down at signing, and a month’s worth of rent for the security deposit. I would have been royally screwed if I didn’t have that money already in the bank.
Plan as much as possible
I love planning shit out. It’s therapeutic because if it’s on paper, it can get out of my head. When I started looking, it was passively. All I knew was that I wanted a one bedroom (which are really hard to come by in NYC) that I can afford on my own. Yes, you can save some money by getting a roommate but after living with my parents and sister, hard pass (no shade to the fam but nah). I did the math to figure out my max rent, and moved forward with my hunt. I realized I most likely wasn’t going to be able to afford to stay in Manhattan, unless I moved down the block to a room. That’s a hard no, so I made the choice to look outside of Manhattan, but somewhere that was still relatively close to my parents and easy to get to by mass transit. I honestly did not factor in my commute to work, which is now longer, but it’s not a total inconvenience. Like I said, a 1br in Manhattan is very hard to come by within certain budgets.
I picked the mass transit lines I preferred to live near, had my max rent amount, and an idea of what I wanted. With that, I set my search. The thing about apartment hunting is that you need to jump once you see something you like and can picture yourself living in. I realized this fairly quickly, so at first I passively searched. It took me weeks of just looking and scrolling through apps to actually schedule a visit and see a potential place. Once I did, I felt a rush! I wanted to see more. I immediately scheduled the next one. I don’t know if it was meant to be, but I jumped at the second place I saw. I felt like I was going to miss out if I let it go, so I secured the second apartment I saw. Had everything I was looking for; within my max rent, near my preferred mass transit lines, and was a 1br.
From that moment on, everything went lightning fast, and I went into power planning mode. I mean, I did the power planning thing after I spent that day feeling numb and in a mild state of panic (but let’s be real, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t panic somewhat). After that, I power planned.
I went to the furniture store to pick out my bedroom set and a couch, which I decided would be covered by those aforementioned savings. I scheduled a visit from the cable company for wifi, and called ConEd to set up my energy. I set everything up to happen on move in date, which I’ll admit was ambitious but I wanted everything to happen at once. I mapped out on paper everything I needed to do prior to moving day, and made a packing schedule for the week before. I made lists on lists on lists of all the things I’d need, and what I needed day one. I started ordering shit off Amazon, and getting small things at TJ Maxx and Target, and crossed things off the list one by one. I kept a record of everything, dates included.
You’ll need a solid support system
If you know me, you will know this part was and is a struggle. My parents are very, very old school helicopter parents. I tried prepping them for this decision months before by casually dropping very obvious hints. I don’t think they took me seriously as they were unsurprisingly shocked when I told them. It caused a minor rift between us because I wanted them to be supportive, and they clearly weren’t. I decided they weren’t going to be a part of this because of that, but after letting the news sit with them for a week and talking to my mom, I had to reconsider. I didn’t want to fight with them, and before I even started looking, I made it really clear to myself that I was not going to leave my house angry. That stuck with me, so I made the conscious effort to include them in the process. My dad was angry with me for doing this “without consent” but the truth is, I knew if I did, I’d still be living at home right this moment. I didn’t want my dad to cloud my decisions with his constant negativity. This is another reason I told them about it after the fact. I didn’t want them to convince me otherwise. I was doing this whether they were with me or not.
I’m happy I did include them after all because they were a huge help to me before and on moving day. My dad drove me several times to move my shit, and waited for me (for hours) as I picked up a package at the post office. He was patient with me that day, for which I’m super thankful. Granted, now that I did actually move, they have been hovering more than when I lived at home. Yes, we still fight, and my dad tries to guilt me every time he gets on the phone with me, but I’m focused on pushing forward from that. I try to remember how lucky I am to have my folks but I do wish they were more supportive of me and this move, and that they will stop trying to guilt me into staying at home every chance they get.
My sister and friends were supportive from day one, and that deserves a shout out (you know who you are)!
This goes back to the saving bit. Plan your expenses wisely! I knew my savings were precisely for this moment, so I made sure to get what I needed based on how much I had. I did hate seeing that number go down, but I reminded myself that this was what it was for. I racked up all of my credit cards (not to the limit lol I had enough savings where I didn’t need to do that) on purchases, which helped stagger my charges. I actually already had this habit built so this was nothing new. I’d check the closing date on each card, and plan which card would get paid (in full!) and when based on due dates and pay days. I only touched my savings for my cards once or twice, and know if necessary, that money is there.
Since I now had to plan for rent, I made the decision to take half of my total rent from each pay check. This way, it wouldn’t seem so overwhelming to take a large sum from my checking account. Not only that, but it also helped me see how much I’d have left to work with. I’m actually pretty good with my money but I knew I’d be overwhelmed and worried with where it was going with this move. I was in and out of stores (namely Target) regularly, and constantly worried I wouldn’t have the cash to pay my cards, or even at the register. As a result, I looked into a budgeting tool to help me see where my money’s going. I’m still getting the hang of it, but it’s easier to think about my expenses as I’m spending, knowing I’ll be able to see where its going at the end of the day.
And now some small reminders:
Before the move: clean your new place! Get a shitload of cleaning supplies and disinfect EVERYTHING. Trust me, it’s easier to clean an empty apartment than it is to clean around boxes and bags of shit. I wanted to do this but couldn’t due to late nights at work. I cleaned around my shit day of anyway though.
Day of move: EAT! I managed to do my whole move, starting at 5AM (thanks to Bob’s furniture’s delivery system smh) on one cup of black coffee. Granted, because of that horrid wakeup call, I was able to finish moving at around 12PM, if we don’t count the time I wasted on line at the post office. I didn’t get an opportunity to eat anything until around 2PM. We made a Target run for supplies, and I began shaking from weakness and lack of food in my system. I inhaled that lil Pizza Hut pizza, breadsticks, a Gatorade, and a glass of orange juice in less than 15 mins. Take snack breaks and feed the people helping you move!
Carry cash to tip the delivery people! I very generously tipped my Bob’s delivery dudes because they brought up my bed frame, mattress set, and couch without an elevator up five flights. In hindsight, I tipped them too much, considering they didn’t bring up my dresser because “it was broken,” but it was just the delivery guys being somewhat lazy (for the record, I got my dresser delivered three weeks later than it should have and the night stand was delivered the week following my move in because Bob’s sucks. Shop at your discretion, y’all). I wasn’t home to tip the cable guy for setting up my wifi, though. Either way, carry cash and tip somewhat nicely.
Make sure you have sheets and towels, and make your bed as soon as you can. I had ordered sheets off Amazon weeks before moving, and brought my pillows and towels from home. I made my bed after my parents left, but I should have done it sooner. I was prepped to crash incredibly early but ended up going to bed later than I should have because I couldn’t help but clean up.
If you move on a Sunday, take that Monday off. If you move on a Saturday, still take that Monday off. I was exhausted. Like words can’t even cover how tired I was. I felt like I had been running around for weeks without a single stop and I had hoped that finishing the move the day of would put it to a halt. I was wrong. I moved on a Saturday, and still felt like I got hit with two bags of bricks that following Monday. I was already out of PTO days so I had no choice but to grin and bear it. I didn’t feel fully rested until I had a fully undisturbed Saturday morning to sleep in. Even then, I still felt tired. If you can, take the day or two after to rest and organize.
There’s a lot I wish I could go back in time and do differently, but I am happy with my decision to do this. It was a surprisingly easy adjustment, and I can only hope it continues this way and/or gets easier. While I have less than a month here, I am already thinking about my next move. It is a year lease, after all. All things considered, I now know what to expect and have an idea of how to make things better for next time. My next challenge: cooking regularly (healthy foods too!!) haha.
As 2017 comes to a close, I’m super proud of myself for accomplishing two of the biggest goals on my list. I learned a fuck ton this year, and can only hope 2018 is as educational as this year. I also hope to slay more goals next year and live more fearlessly.
Keep twirlin’ on them haters tho.